Since 1926 antifreeze has been a fundamental part of how cars work as we know them today. Their previous technology used other compounds to raise the boiling point and decrease the freezing point of water.
Trucks, motorcycles, and many other machines have water-cooling engines; Even computers, although they use a different formula, the purpose is the same: not to allow the antifreeze fluid, which is responsible for cooling the engine, to freeze in cold seasons. Otherwise, the systems will be damaged.
They must also prevent the antifreeze from evaporating in very hot seasons, leaving the engine exposed to rising temperatures. It also helps prevent corrosion that is normally generated with metal and plastic parts by contact with water.
Antifreeze? Coolant? They were? Do not worry, we have all asked ourselves this question once and the truth is that it is actually the same, both antifreeze and coolant can be called interchangeably.
Have you ever looked at the types of antifreeze and their colors? Have you seen that there are green, blue or orange antifreeze fluids? Next, we are going to talk about how many types of antifreeze there are.
What is antifreeze?
In the engine cooling system, a liquid is responsible for extracting the heat produced by the combustion and the friction between the parts so that later, the heat is dissipated from the liquid and the process is repeated.
This liquid is known as coolant or antifreeze liquid as it has the property of not freezing even when the engine is exposed to temperatures below zero degrees.
Basically, they start from distilled water to which additives are added that improve their properties in addition to antifreeze, for example, anticorrosives, antifoams, and dyes.
These dyes provide a striking coloration to the liquid that does not influence the properties and their function is to be able to easily identify leaks.
Many manufacturers are dedicated to the elaboration of these liquids, but there are two fundamental properties that define a good refrigerant: that it does not evaporate at high temperatures and that it does not freeze at low temperatures.
What antifreeze should you use?
The car’s antifreeze, or also known as coolant, serves to keep the engine at its ideal temperature. However, there is more information behind the name.
To know what type of antifreeze your car uses, it is important that you know the type of engines. If the engine is diesel, then you will have to use one that is made of ethylene glycol and corrosion inhibitors made with hybrid technology that removes substances such as phosphates, nitrates, borates, and silicates.
If your vehicle has a gasoline engine, then opt for an antifreeze that is for that operation. In most sales establishments, you will easily find both options, however, it is important before reading the components and making sure that your purchase is the right one.
Finally, we do not recommend mixing them as they have different components for the cooling system. If you have done so by mistake, you will have to purge the above with water and then replace it completely.
Avoid any operational problems by not knowing what type of products to use depending on the car you have. With these tips, you will extend the life of your car and you will have it in very good condition.
Types of Automotive Antifreeze:
There is a great variety on the market between the types of antifreeze and their colors. The color indicates the type of antifreeze you are buying. That is to say, the colors of the types of antifreeze mark the characteristics of these.
Among the types of antifreeze, we find those of green, blue, yellow and orange. Each of these colors indicates the properties of the antifreeze liquid.
That is, at temperatures that antifreeze would be effective. We find antifreeze that can be used from -5ºc to -30ºc. The freezing temperature of these types of antifreeze will vary depending on the amount of ethylene glycol they contain.
Anticorrosive Automotive Coolant:
The anticorrosive refrigerant, in addition to refrigerating, contains additives that prevent corrosion, as its name implies.
They can be found in various degrees of concentration, that is, the additive that contains the highest concentration will better fulfill its function.
Antifreeze coolant is accurate for very cold climates. Avoid freezing the liquid if the temperature is near or below 0 ° C so that the water does not freeze.
This component is nothing more than a property of the coolant and it performs a very important function in your vehicle, which is to ensure that the coolant circulates throughout your circuit unhindered.
It is a combination of organic and inorganic technology that allows excellent protection and longer average life.
They are usually formulated with ethylene glycol and glycerin, anti-cavitation additives, anti-limes, anti-foams and a neutralizing reserve that protects the refrigeration circuit.
They also frequently included silicates to provide protection to aluminum surfaces. They are used by many European automakers although they are also used by American companies like Chrysler and Ford.
By its very nature, an organic refrigerant should not be mixed with an inorganic one. The organic antifreeze offers total protection for long periods of time, they also provide complete protection to all the components of the refrigeration circuit found in internal combustion engines.
Organic types of antifreeze contain anti-cavitation additives, anti-limescale, antifoams and also a neutralizing reserve to maximize the protection of the refrigeration circuit.
Unlike organic types of antifreeze, inorganics are not processed, that is, they are made from alcohol. Its antifreeze capacity is high. However, its percentage of corrosion inhibitors and other additives is very low, so it also does not exceed 30,000 km/year. Its price is much cheaper. These are usually very bright in color.
What type of antifreeze is better?
You don’t have to worry about which type of antifreeze is best but what type of antifreeze I should use. This will depend on the type of car you have, the region where you live and where you park the car.
A car that is parked outdoors in a mountain town whose winter weather is characterized by low temperatures will need an antifreeze that does not freeze below -4 ° C, that is, the type of antifreeze it will need will be one that allows it to start cold even below -8ºC.
Can I mix antifreeze?
It is not recommended to mix antifreeze with different formulas, since they may generate a reaction that damages some of the components of the cooling system.
In the event that it is necessary to add a different antifreeze to the one in the car, avoid exceeding 20% of the total with the new antifreeze liquid. Otherwise, it is better to drain the old antifreeze and replace it completely.
In this case, you must first clean with water to avoid chemical residues remaining in the channels of the cooling system.
Purging the antifreeze requires mechanical knowledge. If you are not sure how to do it, we recommend taking your vehicle with a specialized mechanic to help you leave the cooling system fully functional without risking the well-being of your car.
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When should you replace it?
As a general rule, the coolant must be replaced every two years (or every 40,000 kilometers), because in that time the liquid has lost certain qualities, such as anticorrosive and antifreeze.
Thus, it is essential that, when the time comes to change the coolant, you must bear in mind that it is important to completely empty the circuit to eliminate the remains of the old liquid. Therefore, it is recommended that you entrust this operation to a professional mechanic.
In the same way, it is also for the correct choice of the coolant since it is key to use the right one for the engine of your car.
Not surprisingly, due to the use of certain materials in parts of the refrigeration circuit that require the specific use of a certain type of product, the antifreeze must meet rigorous technical specifications.
Hence it is a mistake to mix antifreeze with different specifications, as it can cause major breakdowns.
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